When busyness becomes an idol

busyness title

Life is busy…

I get it.

When you slow down long enough to ask someone how they’re doing, you’re often going to hear some variation of…

I’m busy.

Busyness has become a badge of honor that we wear.

It’s the way we often choose to identify ourselves in face to face conversations and on social media.

We compare schedules.

We post about our activities and to-do lists.

And, without even realizing it, we’ve let busyness become another idol.

There’s an old saying in church circles that says, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”

The question that we should all be asking ourselves then is, when is being busy bad…and when is it not?

When exactly does busyness become an idol?

The short answer is that busyness becomes an idol when it becomes our identity.

God created us for relationships…

Relationships with Him and relationships with others.

So, our identity should ultimately reflect His purpose for creating us to live in relationship with Him and with each other.

When our busyness hurts either of those relationships, it becomes an idol.

Think about your own relationship with God right now, and ask yourself whether or not busyness is keeping you from knowing Him more.

Are you too busy to spend time reading His Word and talking to Him every day?

Are you too busy to wait patiently for Him?

Are you too busy to seek and worship Him with others at a local church?

Are you too busy at church to really stop to seek and worship Him?

(Those last two questions are tricky ones…we can get it wrong both ways).

Now, think about your relationships with others, and ask yourself whether or not busyness is keeping you from the people God has given you to share life with.

Are you too busy to eat a meal with your family?

Are you too busy to reach out to a hurting friend?

Are you too busy to date your spouse?

Are you too busy to stop and talk with your neighbor?

Busyness is so subtle, because it numbs us to the relationships we really need.

The relationships that God created us for in the first place.

If busyness has become your idol, it might be time to think hard about where you get your identity from…

What gives your life value and purpose?

Is it a to-do list or a full calendar…

Or, is it knowing God and sharing life with the people around you?


36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[e] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[f] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”  (Matthew 22:36-40)




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